Sunday, December 22, 2013
My ONE gift?!
Please accept our apologies for not writing in a few days. If we're friends on Facebook, you're probably aware that the last 48+ hours have been a bit of a whirlwind. Here's what God did-
On Friday, we were at the US Embassy by 9:30 AM and by 11, we were leaving with a pink card that would allow Jonathan re-entry at 3 PM to pick up E's Visa. We immediately went back to the house we were staying in and called Delta to see about moving to that night's flight instead of the flight on Monday night. It took three phone calls (we kept getting disconnected as we were calling via Skype), and long conversations with multiple people. Finally, we got to the right person at the right time. After sharing our story, and explaining that we were in a home without furniture, using air mattresses and a small wooden patio table, and simply that we just really needed to get home- the wonderful agent waived all Mileage requirements (they were asking for 30,000 more skymiles a piece for 2/5 tickets) as well as $400 each for two of the other tickets. This is in addition to the change fees they had already agreed to waive. That's a total of $1,500 right there. Go God! Oh, not to mention we got the last 5 seats on the plane.
E was SO EXCITED when we told her we were flying home to the US that night. Of course, J and L were also pretty ecstatic. We got to the airport in plenty of time, about 4 hours early just to be safe, only to learn that we wouldn't be able to check in until at least three hours before. It was all cool though, because the family that "just-so-happened" to be in front of us were some Missionaries that teach at La Molina Christian School there in Lima. It was neat to talk with them, share our story and hear theirs. We checked in okay, and made it through immigration and to our gate. Part of the dilemma of booking a trip last minute, and getting the last seats on the plane- they're not together. Our wonderful gate agent was gracious & patient enough to move some things around so we could have seats together. E was asleep before we took off & stayed asleep until breakfast was served an hour before we landed. I think she slept better and more than the rest of us.
We had a great 2-hour ride back to Chatt from the airport and then just vegged around the house, enjoying time as a family with Josh, Michelle & Sadie. We're so thankful they were able to meet us at the airport and spend the day with us.
It was both humbling and joyous to see E's reaction as we entered the house and saw the Christmas tree, and then as she saw her room. She had seen her room before via skype but now she was HERE
and experiencing it for herself. For most of the morning, she stayed in her room and played while we were downstairs talking. Every chance she got to tell us (as we checked on her), she would remind us that she was in "my room" playing with "my toys." She's never had that before. Oh my, what we take for granted. When she did come downstairs, we pointed out some gifts under the Christmas tree and indicated that one was hers. The way her face lit up, you would've thought she was just crowned Miss Universe (which by the way, she and her Mom are front runners anyhow). She then said "one gift, mine. That's all" but she was content. We were touched at her sincerity and the realization yet again that by Gods grace, E has been given (and will continue to be) more than her little mind can ever imagine.
What's so crazy about that, is that is exactly how our relationship works with God. When we accept His invitation to be a part of His family, EVERYTHING he has becomes ours...and we cannot and will not ever fully grasp the depth and grandeur of His love and how much he provides for and protects us. Wow.
Well, we want to Church today. It was a blast. Great to be 'home' with the people we've called family for over 10 years now. It was so much fun to share her with everyone. Some dear friends came by after Church to share some gifts and visit. We enjoyed the time with them. Next few weeks promise to have some ups & downs as we transition to Little Rock, but we're confident this is His plan for our family.
Michelle's family arrived this evening. My family is en route. Chrismas will indeed be special, for many reasons not the least of which is celebrating how much God loves us and how He has blessed us richly this year.
We'll write again in a few days. Here's some pictures-